Patel defends government response to migrant Channel crossings

The home secretary Priti Patel has batted away suggestions her department is failing to deal with increases in migrant Channel crossings, accusing Labour of “standing up for unlimited migration”.
Responding to an urgent question on the government’s handling of the migrant Channel crossings by small boats, the home secretary claimed: “The only solution to this problem is wholescale reform of our asylum system.”

Shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said the home secretary had “lost control” of the situation.

24,700 people have made the crossing from France to the UK by boat so far this year – with the Home Office confirming last week that only five people have been returned to neighbouring European countries. The number of crossings this year is almost three times the 8,500 migrants that made the crossing in 2020